Influential civil society group calls for judicial probe into Hyderpora encounter

The GCC is a non-political, non-partisan civil society collective comprising former vice-chancellors, public intellectuals, advocates, academics, scientists, social activists, former judges and civil servants.
Influential civil society group calls for judicial probe into Hyderpora encounter
Army personnel on standby during a 'gunfight' between militants and security forces at Hyderpora area of uptown Srinagar on Monday November 15, 2021. Habib Naqash for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Nov 19: The Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC), a Jammu and Kashmir-based civil society group, on Friday supported a judicial investigation instead of a magisterial probe into the Hyderpora encounter here.

The GCC, a non-political, non-partisan civil society collective comprising former vice-chancellors, public intellectuals, advocates, academics, scientists, social activists, former judges and civil servants raised the demand in a letter to the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

According to police, four persons, including a Pakistani militant and his local associate, were killed in the encounter but the families of the three locals claimed that their kin were innocent civilians.

On Thursday, the Lt Governor ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

The GCC had earlier strongly condemned the targeted killing of civilians, including Kashmiri Pandits, by militants and demanded a thorough probe for bringing the perpetrators of the "dastardly crimes" to book.

Welcoming Sinha's order of probe into the Hyderpora killings and reasserting his government's commitment to protect lives of innocent civilians and to ensure that there is no injustice, the GCC said it is deeply shocked on the recent spurt in killing of the innocent civilians, the Hyderpora incident being the latest.

" and would make you an earnest appeal to institute an independent, judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge instead of an executive functionary. Nothing short of that might lend the announced 'probe' the much-needed credence and conviction to be able to nail the truth," the GCC said in its letter.

"The GCC is of the firm belief if the rule of law were to be respected for real and the majesty of justice upheld as a must, the probe cannot be assigned to the very same executive (the police establishment included) that happens to be the only accused in the mass public and media outrage which the government has so quickly taken cognizance of," it said.

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